Chemical Peel

Chemical Peel

20 minutes

A chemical peel is solution applied to the face to remove dead skin cells and stimulate the growth of new cells.

The aim is to improve the appearance of the skin – for example, by reducing age spots and evening out skin tone.

There are 3 types of peels, called superficial, medium and deep.

Superficial and medium peels are usually safe, as long as they’re done correctly. These type of peels are not permanent and they need to be repeated. Deeper peels are more risky. They’re longer-lasting and do not usually need to be repeated.

Different types of chemical peels

Superficial peels

  • skin cells are removed from the top layer of skin (epidermis)
  • the solution is applied to the skin and left on for a few minutes
  • your skin may feel tight for a couple of hours afterwards
  • regular treatment is needed to maintain the effects

Medium peels

  • skin cells are removed from the top and middle layers of skin
  • the solution is applied and left on for a few minutes
  • you may feel burning or stinging when it’s on your face
  • your skin may go brown or red for a few days afterwards
  • it can take up to 6 weeks for your skin to return to normal
  • treatment is needed every 6 to 12 months to maintain the effects

Deep peels

  • affect the deeper layers of skin
  • a local anaesthetic and sedative may be needed to numb any pain
  • the solution is applied to the face and can be left on for 30 minutes or more
  • your heart and blood pressure need to be watched because the chemical used (phenol) can affect your heart and kidneys
  • you’ll have some peeling, redness and discomfort for a few days
  • swelling can last up to 2 weeks, and redness can last up to 3 months
  • often lightens the skin so it’s not really suitable for darker skin
  • it has long-lasting effects so does not usually need to be repeated

Your skin will be more sensitive to the sun as it heals, so you need to use sunscreen for at least a month after treatment.

We can give you advice about how to reduce your risk of getting side effects and complications.